This Other Eden

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Product Details
$17.99  $16.73
W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date
5.6 X 8.2 X 0.8 inches | 0.4 pounds

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About the Author

Paul Harding is the author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning Tinkers, and Enon. He is director of the MFA in Creative Writing & Literature at Stony Brook University, and lives on Long Island, New York.

Tender, magical, and haunting, Paul Harding's This Other Eden is that rare novel that makes profound claims on our present age while being, very simply, a graceful performance of language and storytelling. Here is prose that touchingly holds its imagined island community in a light that can only be described as generous and dazzling. I have not read a novel this achingly beautiful in a while, nor one in which the fate of its characters I will not soon forget.--Major Jackson, author of The Absurd Man
There is no writer alive anything like Paul Harding, and This Other Eden proves it: astonishingly beautiful, humane, strange, interested in philosophy and the heart, stunningly written. It's about home, love, heredity, cruelty, and the very nature of art, so completely original it's hard to know how to describe it in a mere blurb, by which I mean: you must read this book.--Elizabeth McCracken, author of The Souvenir Museum
Pulitzer winner Harding (Tinkers) suffuses deep feeling into this understated yet wrenching story...It's a remarkable achievement.-- "Publishers Weekly (starred review)"
[This Other Eden] is a harrowing tale of paradise lost and a lyrical examination of people in isolation just trying to get by...[It] is a novel that is both devastating and meditative, a combination that is characteristic of [Paul] Harding's work.--MJ Franklin "New York Times"
Stunning...You could imagine lots of ways a historical novel about this horror might be written, but none of them would give you a sense of the strange spell of This Other Eden--its dynamism, bravado and melancholy. Harding's style has been called 'Faulknerian' and maybe that's apt, given his penchant for sometimes paragraph-long sentences that collapse past and present...[An] intense wonder of a historical novel.--Maureen Corrigan "NPR"
Harding, who won a dark-horse Pulitzer Prize for Tinkers, again demonstrates his gifts for concision and compassion in a narrative that balances historical fact with fully drawn characters...[S]ure to be a standout of 2023.--Bethanne Patrick "Los Angeles Times"
This Other Eden is a story of good intentions, bad faith, worse science, but also a tribute to community and human dignity and the possibility of another world. In both, it has much to say to our times.--Rachel Seiffert "Guardian (UK)"
Beautiful, brooding...Harding paints a rich, unvarnished portrait of Apple Island and its residents...Long, cascading sentences sometimes loop back on themselves to add salient details; others rush forward to encapsulate as much complexity as they can...Harding's finely wrought prose shows us a community that refuses to see itself through the judgmental eyes of others, a society composed of people who give their neighbors the same latitude to go their own way that they claim for themselves. It closes on a note of determined hope, with an emblem of continuity and endurance held high above the waters that separate Apple Island from the censorious mainland.--Wendy Smith "Washington Post"
With gorgeous, often antique prose, Harding takes us into the prelapsarian world of the islanders...Harding has a gift for using language with intense precision that evokes his characters' points of view.--Carolyn Kellogg "Boston Globe"
Frequent lyrical passages, which are as epic, forceful and sweeping as the floods the book depicts and recalls...Just as wonderful are the book's frequent small touches.--Clifford Thompson "Times Literary Supplement (UK)"
In boldly lyrical prose, This Other Eden shows us a once-thriving racial utopia in its final days, at a time when race and science were colliding in chilling ways. In the stories of the Apple Islanders--especially that of Ethan Honey, spared a destructive fate because of his artistic gifts and his fair skin--we are made to confront the ambiguous nature of mercy, the limits of tolerance, and what it means to truly be saved. A luminous, thought-provoking novel.--Esi Edugyan, author of Washington Black
Harding's third novel revisits an appalling moment in Maine history...[A] brief book that carries the weight of history. A moving account of community and displacement.-- "Kirkus Reviews (starred review)"
A superb achievement...Harding combines an engrossing plot with deft characterizations and alluring language deeply attuned to nature's artistry. The biblical parallels, which naturally align with the characters' circumstances, add depth, and enhance the universality of the themes...[T]his gorgeously limned portrait about family bonds, the loss of innocence, the insidious effects of racism, and the innate worthiness of individual lives will resonate long afterward.-- "Booklist (starred review)"
[Paul Harding] writes with the gravitas of a mythmaker...The pace of Harding's storytelling is stately, his descriptions, even of small events, gorgeous...This Other Eden is beautiful and agonizing--rather like the real place that inspired it.--Claire Messud "Harper's Magazine"